By Braddah Lance
Aftah filling up gas before heading into work (late again), I approached an intersection and noticed a man lying face down on a grassy corner with his backpack about an arms length away. He looked a little precarious considering he was lying down slope on da grass wea there are rarely any noticeable foot traffic. In fact, there aren't any sidewalks at all in da area (corner of Puu Kala St & Puu Poni St SW corner) and those familiar with da area can attest dat you don't see much people walking there wen driving by.
As I slowly rolled to a stop at da intersection, I checked him out before a car approached behind forcing me to clear da intersection. I looked in my mirror to see if da person was going to move but he didn't and he looked like he was knocked out cold from da few seconds I witnessed and it didn't sit well with me dat it just all looked "weird".
I thought about turning around but a few scenarios ran through da coconut shell:
1) He could be sleeping.
2) He could be bleeding.
3) He could be crazy.
4) He could be crazy crazy.
5) Call 911 once I get into work.
I chose option 5.
911: Police, Fire, Ambulance?
BL: I'm not sure. I noticed a guy lying on the corner and he looked knocked out.
911: Is this an emergency?
BL: Not sure, I don't think so.
911: I'll connect you to EMS. They'll check it out.
BL: Thank you.
911 EMS: What's your emergency?
BL: There's this guy lying on the corner and he looks like he's knocked out but I couldn't tell if he was sleeping or hurt as I was passing him on my way to work.
911 EMS: Does he require an ambulance?
BL: Not sure. I noticed him as I was driving by going into work.
911 EMS: Is he still there?
BL: Not sure, I'm at work now.
911 EMS: How long ago?
BL: About 20 minutes ago.
911 EMS: 20 minutes ago? *sarcastic undertone since it was 20 minutes ago*
BL: Yes, 20 minutes ago. I was driving into work. (boy do I sound like a broken record)
911 EMS: What is he wearing?
BL: Darker clothing, grey I think and he had a backpack about an arms length away. He's fully clothed but I can't tell if he's homeless or not.
911 EMS: A person is a person. *with a hint of sarcasm*
Heh? Did she just insinuate dat I tink a homeless person is less of a person than a housed person?
Wassup Wit Dat!
I don't know if dat person was homeless or not but lying on a corner of a fairly busy intersection sleeping - or knocked out - which does not have a history of having people "hang around" would be a cause of concern no? If dis person was not a "person" to me, would I be calling in for someone to check him out to see if he's ok? He was not terrorizing anybody nor causing trouble but wat if he needed help and no one (I) didn't do anything about it?
By providing as much detail as I could (isn't dat wat 911 asks/expects?), I get chastised for it? I'm sure EMS or HPD would like to know wat kine of situation they would be heading into if they would be dealing with a true "homeless" person or not. Did I disparage dis person just by stating dat I didn't know if he was homeless or not? Did I use an unpolitically correct adjective somewea?
Maybe next time I just won't be a concerned "person" and leave well enough alone.